10 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Relationships With Influencers

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~3/sFbhrDDqqys/

Influencers can be your long-term advocate and brand ambassadors. Spending even $1000 on influencers can yield amazing returns. You don’t want to kill your influencer relationships because of some overlooked or careless mistake. You can build invaluable relationships with your influencers that can be mutually beneficial. Truth be told: Relationships are fragile. When it comes to business, you have to maintain relationships with your partners, customers, and employees. Influencers are interesting people because they are your partners, customers, as well as employees. With your stringent timelines and busy schedule, you might lose track of your relationships with influencers. In an…

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Not-Actually-the-Best Local SEO Practices

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/seomoz/~3/qIcbTvT7wOA/not-actually-the-best-local-seo-practices

Posted by MiriamEllis

It’s never fun being the bearer of bad news.

You’re on the phone with an amazing prospect. Let’s say it’s a growing appliance sales and repair provider with 75 locations in the western US. Your agency would absolutely love to onboard this client, and the contact is telling you, with some pride, that they’re already ranking pretty well for about half of their locations.

With the right strategy, getting them the rest of the way there should be no problem at all.

But then you notice something, and your end of the phone conversation falls a little quiet as you click through from one of their Google My Business listings in Visalia to Streetview and see… not a commercial building, but a house. Uh-oh. In answer to your delicately worded question, you find out that 45 of this brand’s listings have been built around the private homes of their repairmen — an egregious violation of Google’s guidelines.

“I hate to tell you this…,” you clear your throat, and then you deliver the bad news.

marketingfoundations1.jpg

If you do in-house Local SEO, do it for clients, or even just answer questions in a forum, you’ve surely had the unenviable (yet vital) task of telling someone they’re “doing it wrong,” frequently after they’ve invested considerable resources in creating a marketing structure that threatens to topple due to a crack in its foundation. Sometimes you can patch the crack, but sometimes, whole edifices of bad marketing have to be demolished before safe and secure new buildings can be erected.

Here are 5 of the commonest foundational marketing mistakes I’ve encountered over the years as a Local SEO consultant and forum participant. If you run into these in your own work, you’ll be doing someone a big favor by delivering “the bad news” as quickly as possible:

1. Creating GMB listings at ineligible addresses

What you’ll hear:

“We need to rank for these other towns, because we want customers there. Well, no, we don’t really have offices there. We have P.O. Boxes/virtual offices/our employees’ houses.”

Why it’s a problem:

Google’s guidelines state:

Make sure that your page is created at your actual, real-world location PO Boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations are not acceptable. Service-area businesses—businesses that serve customers at their locations—should have one page for the central office or location and designate a service area from that point.

All of this adds up to Google saying you shouldn’t create a listing for anything other than a real-world location, but it’s extremely common to see a) spammers simply creating tons of listings for non-existent locations, b) people of good will not knowing the guidelines and doing the same thing, and c) service area businesses (SABs) feeling they have to create fake-location listings because Google won’t rank them for their service cities otherwise.

In all three scenarios, the brand puts itself at risk for detection and listing removal. Google can catch them, competitors and consumers can catch them, and marketers can catch them. Once caught, any effort that was put into ranking and building reputation around a fake-location listing is wasted. Better to have devoted resources to risk-free marketing efforts that will add up to something real.

What to do about it:

Advise the SAB owner to self-report the problem to Google. I know this sounds risky, but Google My Business forum Top Contributor Joy Hawkins let me know that she’s never seen a case in which Google has punished a business that self-reported accidental spam. The owner will likely need to un-verify the spam listings (see how to do that here) and then Google will likely remove the ineligible listings, leaving only the eligible ones intact.

What about dyed-in-the-wool spammers who know the guidelines and are violating them regardless, turning local pack results into useless junk? Get to the spam listing in Google Maps, click the “Suggest an edit” link, toggle the toggle to “Yes,” and choose the radio button for spam. Google may or may not act on your suggestion. If not, and the spam is misleading to consumers, I think it’s always a good idea to report it to the Google My Business forum in hopes that a volunteer Top Contributor may escalate an egregious case to a Google staffer.

2. Sharing phone numbers between multiple entities

What you’ll hear:

“I run both my dog walking service and my karate classes out of my house, but I don’t want to have to pay for two different phone lines.”

-or-

“Our restaurant has 3 locations in the city now, but we want all the calls to go through one number for reservation purposes. It’s just easier.”

-or-

“There are seven doctors at our practice. Front desk handles all calls. We can’t expect the doctors to answer their calls personally.”

Why it’s a problem:

There are actually multiple issues at hand on this one. First of all, Google’s guidelines state:

Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible, and provide one website that represents your individual business location. Use a local phone number instead of a central, call center helpline number whenever possible. The phone number must be under the direct control of the business.

This rules out having the phone number of a single location representing multiple locations.

Confusing to Google

Google has also been known in the past to phone businesses for verification purposes. Should a business answer “Jim’s Dog Walking” when a Google rep is calling to verify that the phone number is associated with “Jim’s Karate Lessons,” we’re in trouble. Shared phone numbers have also been suspected in the past of causing accidental merging of Google listings, though I’ve not seen a case of this in a couple of years.

Confusing for businesses

As for the multi-practitioner scenario, the reality is that some business models simply don’t allow for practitioners to answer their own phones. Calls for doctors, dentists, attorneys, etc. are traditionally routed through a front desk. This reality calls into question whether forward-facing listings should be built for these individuals at all. We’ll dive deeper into this topic below, in the section on multi-practitioner listings.

Confusing for the ecosystem

Beyond Google-related concerns, Moz Local’s awesome engineers have taught me some rather amazing things about the problems shared phone numbers can create for citation-building campaigns in the greater ecosystem. Many local business data platforms are highly dependent on unique phone numbers as a signal of entity uniqueness (the “P” in NAP is powerful!). So, for example, if you submit both Jim’s Dog Walking and Jim’s Bookkeeping to Infogroup with the same number, Infogroup may publish both listings, but leave the phone number fields blank! And without a phone number, a local business listing is pretty worthless.

It’s because of realities like these that a unique phone number for each entity is a requirement of the Moz Local product, and should be a prerequisite for any citation building campaign.

What to do about it:

Let the business owner know that a unique phone number for each business entity, each business location, and each forward-facing practitioner who wants to be listed is a necessary business expense (and, hey, likely tax deductible, too!). Once the investment has been made in the unique numbers, the work ahead involves editing all existing citations to reflect them. The free tool Moz Check Listing can help you instantly locate existing citations for the purpose of creating a spreadsheet that details the bad data, allowing you to start correcting it manually. Or, to save time, the business owner may wish to invest in a paid, automated citation correction product like Moz Local.

Pro tip: Apart from removing local business listing stumbling blocks, unique phone numbers have an added bonus in that they enable the benefits of associating KPIs like clicks-to-call to a given entity, and existing numbers can be ported into call tracking numbers for even further analysis of traffic and conversions. You just can’t enjoy these benefits if you lump multiple entities together under a single, shared number.

3. Keyword stuffing GMB listing names

What you’ll hear:

“I have 5 locations in Dallas. How are my customers supposed to find the right one unless I add the neighborhood name to the business name on the listings?”

-or-

“We want customers to know we do both acupuncture and massage, so we put both in the listing name.”

-or-

“Well, no, the business name doesn’t actually have a city name in it, but my competitors are adding city names to their GMB listings and they’re outranking me!”

Why it’s a problem:

Long story short, it’s a blatant violation of Google’s guidelines to put extraneous keywords in the business name field of a GMB listing. Google states:

Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Including unnecessary information in your business name is not permitted, and could result in your listing being suspended. What to do about it:

I consider this a genuine Local SEO toughie. On the one hand, Google’s lack of enforcement of these guidelines, and apparent lack of concern about the whole thing, makes it difficult to adequately alarm business owners about the risk of suspension. I’ve successfully reported keyword stuffing violations to Google and have had them act on my reports within 24 hours… only to have the spammy names reappear hours or days afterwards. If there’s a suspension of some kind going on here, I don’t see it.

Simultaneously, Google’s local algo apparently continues to be influenced by exact keyword matches. When a business owner sees competitors outranking him via outlawed practices which Google appears to ignore, the Local SEO may feel slightly idiotic urging guideline-compliance from his patch of shaky ground.

But, do it anyway. For two reasons:

If you’re not teaching business owners about the importance of brand building at this point, you’re not really teaching marketing. Ask the owner, “Are you into building a lasting brand, or are you hoping to get by on tricks?” Smart owners (and their marketers) will see that it’s a more legitimate strategy to build a future based on earning permanent local brand recognition for Lincoln & Herndon, than for Springfield Car Accident Slip and Fall Personal Injury Lawyers Attorneys. I find it interesting that, in all of Google’s guidelines, the word “suspended” is used only a few times, and one of these rare instances relates to spamming the business title field. In other words, Google is using the strongest possible language to warn against this practice, and that makes me quite nervous about tying large chunks of reputation and rankings to a tactic against which Google has forewarned. I remember that companies were doing all kinds of risky things on the eve of the Panda and Penguin updates and they woke up to a changed webscape in which they were no longer winners. Because of this, I advocate alerting any business owner who is risking his livelihood to chancy shortcuts. Better to build things for real, for the long haul.

Fortunately, it only takes a few seconds to sign into a GMB account and remove extraneous keywords from a business name. If it needs to be done at scale for large multi-location enterprises across the major aggregators, Moz Local can get the job done. Will removing spammy keywords from the GMB listing title cause the business to move down in Google’s local rankings? It’s possible that they will, but at least they’ll be able to go forward building real stuff, with the moral authority to report rule-breaking competitors and keep at it until Google acts.

And tell owners not to worry about Google not being able to sort out a downtown location from an uptown one for consumers. Google’s ability to parse user proximity is getting better every day. Mobile-local packs prove this out. If one location is wrongly outranking another, chances are good the business needs to do an audit to discover weaknesses that are holding the more appropriate listing back. That’s real strategy – no tricks!

4. Creating a multi-site morass

What you’ll hear:

“So, to cover all 3 or our locations, we have greengrocerysandiego.com, greengrocerymonterey.com and greengrocerymendocino.com… but the problem is, the content on the three sites is kind of all the same. What should we do to make the sites different?”

-or-

“So, to cover all of our services, we have jimsappliancerepair.com, jimswashingmachinerepair.com, jimsdryerrepair.com, jimshotwaterheaterrepair.com, jimsrefrigeratorrepair.com. We’re about to buy jimsvacuumrepair.com … but the problem is, there’s not much content on any of these sites. It feels like management is getting out of hand.”

Why it’s a problem:

Definitely a frequent topic in SEO forums, the practice of relying on exact match domains (EMDs) proliferates because of Google’s historic bias in their favor. The ranking influence of EMDs has been the subject of a Google updateand has lessened over time. I wouldn’t want to try to rank for competitive terms with creditcards.com or insurance.com these days.

But if you believe EMDs no longer work in the local-organic world, read this post in which a fellow’s surname/domain name gets mixed up with a distant city name and he ends up ranking in the local packs for it! Chances are, you see weak EMDs ranking all the time for your local searches — more’s the pity. And, no doubt, this ranking boost is the driving force behind local business models continuing to purchase multiple keyword-oriented domains to represent branches of their company or the variety of services they offer. This approach is problematic for 3 chief reasons:

It’s impractical. The majority of the forum threads I’ve encountered in which small-to-medium local businesses have ended up with two, or five, or ten domains invariably lead to the discovery that the websites are made up of either thin or duplicate content. Larger enterprises are often guilty of the same. What seemed like a great idea at first, buying up all those EMDs, turns into an unmanageable morass of web properties that no one has the time to keep updated, to write for, or to market. Specific to the multi-service business, it’s not a smart move to put single-location NAP on multiple websites. In other words, if your construction firm is located at 123 Main Street in Funky Town, but consumers and Google are finding that same physical address associated with fences.com, bathroomremodeling.com, decks.com, and kitchenremodeling.com, you are sowing confusion in the ecosystem. Which is the authoritative business associated with that address? Some business owners further compound problems by assuming they can then build separate sets of local business listings for each of these different service-oriented domains, violating Google’s guidelines, which state:

Do not create more than one page for each location of your business.

The whole thing can become a giant mess, instead of the clean, manageable simplicity of a single brand, tied to a single domain, with a single NAP signal. With rare-to-nonexistent exceptions, I consider EMDs to be missed opportunities for brand building. Imagine, if instead of being Whole Foods at WholeFoods.com, the natural foods giant had decided they needed to try to squeeze a ranking boost out of buying 400+ domains to represent the eventual number of locations they now operate. WholeFoodsDallas.com, WholeFoodsMississauga.com, etc? Such an approach would get out of hand very fast.

Even the smallest businesses should take cues from big commerce. Your brand is the magic password you want on every consumer’s lips, associated with every service you offer, in every location you open. As I recently suggested to a Moz community member, be proud to domain your flower shop as rossirovetti.com instead of hoping FloralDelivery24hoursSanFrancisco.com will boost your rankings. It’s authentic, easy to remember, looks trustworthy in the SERPs, and is ripe for memorable brand building.

What to do about it:

While I can’t speak to the minutiae of every single scenario, I’ve yet to be part of a discussion about multi-sites in the Local SEO community in which I didn’t advise consolidation. Basically, the business should choose a single, proud domain and, in most cases, 301 redirect the old sites to the main one, then work to get as many external links that pointed to the multi-sites to point to the chosen main site. This oldie but goodie from the Moz blog provides a further technical checklist from a company that saw a 40% increase in traffic after consolidating domains. I’d recommend that any business that is nervous about handling the tech aspects of consolidation in-house should hire a qualified SEO to help them through the process.

5. Creating ill-considered practitioner listings

What you’ll hear:

“We have 5 dentists at the practice, but one moved/retired last month and we don’t know what to do with the GMB listing for him.”

-or-

“Dr. Green is outranking the practice in the local results for some reason, and it’s really annoying.”

Why it’s a problem:

I’ve saved the most complex for last! Multi-practitioner listings can be a blessing, but they’re so often a bane that my position on creating them has evolved to a point where I only recommend building them in specific cases.

When Google first enabled practitioner listings (listings that represent each doctor, lawyer, dentist, or agent within a business) I saw them as a golden opportunity for a given practice to dominate local search results with its presence. However, Google’s subsequent unwillingness to simply remove practitioner duplicates, coupled with the rollout of the Possum update which filters out shared category/similar location listings, coupled with the number of instances I’ve seen in which practitioner listings end up outranking brand listings, has caused me to change my opinion of their benefits. I should also add that the business title field on practitioner listings is a hotbed of Google guideline violations — few business owners have ever read Google’s nitty gritty rules about how to name these types of listings.

In a nutshell, practitioner listings gone awry can result in a bunch of wrongly-named listings often clouded by duplicates that Google won’t remove, all competing for the same keywords. Not good!

What to do about it:

You’ll have multiple scenarios to address when offering advice about this topic.

1.) If the business is brand new, and there is no record of it on the Internet as of yet, then I would only recommend creating practitioner listings if it is necessary to point out an area of specialization. So, for example if a medical practice has 5 MDs, the listing for the practice covers that, with no added listings needed. But, if a medical practice has 5 MDs and an Otolaryngologist, it may be good marketing to give the specialist his own listing, because it has its own GMB category and won’t be competing with the practice for rankings. *However, read on to understand the challenges being undertaken any time a multi-practitioner listing is created.

2.) If the multi-practitioner business is not new, chances are very good that there are listings out there for present, past, and even deceased practitioners.

If a partner is current, be sure you point his listing at a landing page on the practice’s website, instead of at the homepage, see if you can differentiate categories, and do your utmost to optimize the practice’s own listing — the point here is to prevent practitioners from outranking the practice. What do I mean by optimization? Be sure the practice’s GMB listing is fully filled out, you’ve got amazing photos, you’re actively earning and responding to reviews, you’re publishing a Google Post at least once a week, and your citations across the web are consistent. These things should all strengthen the listing for the practice. If a partner is no longer with the practice, it’s ideal to unverify the listing and ask Google to market it as moved to the practice — not to the practitioner’s new location. Sound goofy? Read Joy Hawkins’ smart explanation of this convoluted issue. If, sadly, a practitioner has passed away, contact Google to show them an obituary so that the listing can be removed. If a listing represents what is actually a solo practitioner (instead of a partner in a multi-practitioner business model) and his GMB listing is now competing with the listing for his business, you can ask Google to merge the two listings.

3.) If a business wants to create practitioner listings, and they feel up to the task of handling any ranking or situational management concerns, there is one final proviso I’d add. Google’s guidelines state that practitioners should be “directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours” in order to qualify for a GMB listing. I’ve always found this requirement rather vague. Contactable by phone? Contactable in person? Google doesn’t specify. Presumably, a real estate agent in a multi-practitioner agency might be directly contactable, but as my graphic above illustrates, we wouldn’t really expect the same public availability of a surgeon, right? Point being, it may only make marketing sense to create a practitioner listing for someone who needs to be directly available to the consumer public for the business to function. I consider this a genuine grey area in the guidelines, so think it through carefully before acting.

Giving good help

It’s genuinely an honor to advise owners and marketers who are strategizing for the success of local businesses. In our own small way, local SEO consultants live in the neighborhood Mister Rogers envisioned in which you could look for the helpers when confronted with trouble. Given the livelihoods dependent on local commerce, rescuing a company from a foundational marketing mistake is satisfying work for people who like to be “helpers,” and it carries a weight of responsibility.

I’ve worked in 3 different SEO forums over the past 10+ years, and I’d like to close with some things I’ve learned about helping:

Learn to ask the right questions. Small nuances in business models and scenarios can necessitate completely different advice. Don’t be scared to come back with second and third rounds of follow-up queries if someone hasn’t provided sufficient detail for you to advise them well. Read all details thoroughly before replying. Always, always consult Google’s guidelines, and link to them in your answers. It’s absolutely amazing how few owners and marketers have ever encountered them. Local SEOs are volunteer liaisons between Google and businesses. That’s just the way things have worked out. Don’t say you’re sure unless you’re really sure. If a forum or client question necessitates a full audit to surface a useful answer, say so. Giving pat answers to complicated queries helps no one, and can actually hurt businesses by leaving them in limbo, losing money, for an even longer time. Network with colleagues when weird things come up. Ranking drops can be attributed to new Google updates, or bugs, or other factors you haven’t yet noticed but that a trusted peer may have encountered. Practice humility. 90% of what I know about Local SEO, I’ve learned from people coming to me with problems for which, at some point, I had to discover answers. Over time, the work put in builds up our store of ready knowledge, but we will never know it all, and that’s humbling in a very good way. Community members and clients are our teachers. Let’s be grateful for them, and treat them with respect. Finally, don’t stress about delivering “the bad news” when you see someone who is asking for help making a marketing mistake. In the long run, your honesty will be the best gift you could possibly have given.

Happy helping!


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220: What You Should Include in Your Email Newsletters

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProbloggerHelpingBloggersEarnMoney/~3/NRUVjIofmvo/

What You Should Include in Your Email Newsletters (and Answers to 4 FAQs About Email)

Do you email your blog readers regularly?

Maybe you put ‘set up email newsletter’ on your ‘someday’ list ages ago, but still haven’t done it.

Or maybe you have a newsletter list, but you haven’t sent one in months.

You might think it’s optional – something you can do once you’ve finished everything else on your to-do list.

You might even think email is dead (or at least old-fashioned), and that you’re better off building connections through social media. (Which is nothing new, by the way. I was talking about bloggers having similar concerns nine years ago.)

The truth is, email is still one of the best ways (if not the best way) to connect with your blog’s readers.

Email is a big part of my strategy on both of my blogs. It drives traffic, and helps us build our community, understand who’s reading our blog, and monetize both directly and indirectly.

If you’re not using it, you really are missing out. But what do you email? What is the content you include in your communications?

Email can be used in many ways, and you can sent a variety of email types. But today I want to talk about creating a regular email newsletter, which for me is the foundation of my email strategy.

A few of the most common questions I get about newsletters and email strategy: What tool should I use? What content should I put in my emails? What format should they be in – plain text, rich text, HTML? How frequently should I send emails? What other types of emails should I consider sending? How do I get more subscribers? (I’m not going to cover this today, but recommend you listen to episodes 68 and 69) Links and Resources on What to Include in Your Email Newsletters: How I Use Email Newsletters to Drive Traffic and Make Money Comparing Email Service Providers for Bloggers 6 Reasons Why Your Blog Needs an Email Newsletter 3 Examples of Content You Can Include in Your Email Newsletter Other Podcasts On Similar Topics: PB117: Case Study – How One Blogger Used a Blog Post, SlideShare Deck, Lead Magnet, Email Sequence and a Webinar to Earn Over $28,000 PB107: Affiliate Marketing Tips – What Links to Use in Your Emails PB069: Create an Opt-In to Increase Your Email Subscriber Numbers PB068: How to Increase Your Email List Subscribers By 100% Or More Today 161: 3 Things Most Bloggers Don’t Pay Enough Attention To Tools We’re Using: (These are affiliates and we get a small commission on purchases.) Drip – the current email service provider for ProBlogger ConvertKit – a tool we’re just starting to experiment with that looks very promising. Built from the ground up for bloggers.

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Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view Hey there and welcome to Episode 220 of the Problogger podcast. My name’s Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, a podcast, event, job board, and a series of ebooks, and soon to come some courses, all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your blog and to make some money from it as well. You can learn more about Problogger at problogger.com.

And while I’m mentioning it, sign up for our newsletter, Problogger PLUS. You’ll see calls to action to do that wherever you go on problogger.com. That will keep you in the loop in terms of our new content, but also some of the new things we’ve got coming for 2018.

In today’s episode, I wanna talk about email. It’s a fairly introductory… I guess the frequently asked questions that I get about email, particularly what should you include in the emails that you send. I think most bloggers know that they should be sending some emails and collecting email addresses, but I regularly get asked the question, “What should I put in my emails?”

I wanna talk today about what we do with our newsletters, talk about some of the questions we get around whether you should use plain text or rich text or HTML, how frequently you should send, and other types of emails that you might wanna build into your sequence as well.

We’re talking all things email today. If you haven’t yet got a newsletter or an email list, today is gonna be good for you because we’ll also mention some tools that you might wanna use. And if you have got one but you haven’t been sending, this would be the perfect podcast for you, I hope.

Let’s get into it. Today’s show notes are at problogger.com/podcast/220.

Do you email your blog readers regularly? Maybe you have had this on your ‘to do’ list, your ‘someday’ list, for a long time now. It’s amazing how many blogger I meet have got ‘Set up an email list’ or ‘Start sending emails’ as one of the items on their ‘one day’ list.

I wanna encourage you today, as we approach the end of 2017, move into a new year, to put this on your today list. I really wanna encourage you to make this an essential item, a big part of what you do in 2018, because as I look back over the years in my blogging, this is one of the most important things that I ever took action on, starting to send emails.

You might think email is dead or an old-fashioned medium and that you’d be better off building your connections through social media, which is certainly one way that you can build relationships with your readers and drive traffic to your blogs. The truth is, email is still one of the best, if not the best, way to connect with your blog readers.

Things are changing all the time in the space that we’re operating in. But email is not going away. It hasn’t gone away. It one day may go away but I can’t see it going away in 2018, 2019, 2020. Whilst all of these other options of communicating with your readers do come and go in terms of their effectiveness, email is still a very effective way to reach your readers.

And it’s a big part of the strategy on both of my blogs. It drives a lot of traffic every week. It helps us to build community. We use our email to direct people to some of the social media accounts that we’re building community on, to drive engagement. It helps us understand who is reading our blog because we can get feedback from those who subscribe. And it helps us to monetize the business as well, both in terms of selling our product but also directly monetizing the emails.

We actually sell advertising in some of the emails that we do, particularly on Digital Photography School. So it’s paying for itself, and is a profitable part of our business.

If you’re not doing email, please consider it, and make it a priority for 2018 in terms of starting that email list or making your email list more effective for you.

I do get a lot of questions about email. And I wanna cover some of the more common ones today because it can be used in a variety of ways. There’s no blueprint for how you should do it but I wanna explore some of the different methods that you can use to use in email.

Particularly, there are six questions that I wanna talk about today. In fact there’s five and I wanna give you some further listening for the sixth one.

The first question is, “What tool should I use?” I get it all the time. I wanna suggest to you a few tools that you might wanna consider.

Number two question is, “What content should I put in my emails? What are my options in terms of sending a newsletter?” particularly.

Number three, “What format should they be in?” Should you be sending plain text emails, rich text, HTML, pretty, designed emails.

Question number four, “How frequently should I send emails?”

Number five is what other types of emails should you send in addition to that newsletter that you do.

The sixth question, I’ve got some further listening for you, is how to get more subscribers for your list. I’m not gonna cover that specifically, but I do have some further listening which I’ll mention at the end of today’s show.

That’s where we’re headed today.

The first question, let’s get into it, what tool should you use. There are an amazing array of tools on the market today. When I started doing email, I think it was back in 2004, 2005, there weren’t really that many tools. But today there are so many. Every time I ask in our Facebook group what tools do you use, it’s amazing how many different tools are mentioned there. They come in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of features and different price points.

What I really encourage you to do is to pay for an email service. Don’t use a free one. Don’t send your newsletter from your Gmail account. It’s just gonna get you into trouble in terms of spammy practices, and it’s gonna hurt your deliverability. You do want to invest in an email service provider. It does cost, but if you use email right it should pay for itself through selling products, through selling affiliate products, through potentially even having advertisers in your email.

It’s not that expensive to start out. Most of the tools that are out there have free entry points, or they’ll give you trial for certain amount of subscribers and then they increase the price as you get more subscribers. You shouldn’t have to pay too much to get started.

This isn’t a time or place to compare all the different options out there. But what I will say is over the last 12 months we’ve looked at quite a few of the options at Problogger for our own use. For many years, I’ve been using AWeber as a tool. It is a solid option that I know many Problogger readers use. It’s been around for years, it’s reliable, it’s relatively affordable.

But over the last few years, we’ve increasingly come up against challenges that are starting to hold us back in terms of what we are trying to do with our email list. Some of the features aren’t quite there in comparison to some of the other tools out there. You can do a lot, but you kind of have to hack it together. It’s a little bit clumsy in terms of the way that it’s arranged. But it is a good solid tool if you just wanna send a newsletter every week and you don’t wanna get much more sophisticated than that.

We’ve decided to start looking around at some of the other options. It’s been years that I’ve been using AWeber. We’ve started to also notice a little bit of deliverability issues. That could be partly because of the size of our list, and because our list is quite old as well. We have a lot of people who signed up for that list in 2005, 2006 and so deliverability is kind of… there’s some issues there for us as well.

So when it came to looking at what we should switch our business to in terms of email, we considered a lot of different tools and we came down to two. There are two that I would recommend for you.

The two that I would encourage you to consider, and we’ve got links to these on our show notes, are Drip and ConvertKit. We’ll do an episode in 2018 with more detail on these tools and talk a little bit about the actual features of them, but we came down on Drip. We’ve decided to move to Drip. We’ve actually switched Problogger over to Drip in the last six months and it’s been amazing. We’ve loved using it. It’s very powerful. It enables us to do a lot more segmentation of our list and deliver different types of emails to different people to create different sorts of sequences of emails. It’s very powerful and it’s incredibly intuitive to use.

It is more expensive for us than AWeber but we’re already seeing, as a result of high deliverability and more powerful tools, that we’re going to be able to make our money back on that. And we will be moving Digital Photography School over to Drip next year. That’s a big task for us because we’ve got so many lists and so many subscribers there.

So Drip has been very good for us but ConvertKit, I would highly recommend that as well. It is a newer tool, perhaps it hasn’t matured as a platform quite as much as Drip, and not quite as advanced in some of the tools.

When we looked at the size of our list and some of the things we wanted to do, it wasn’t quite there, ConvertKit for us particularly when we made that decision ConvertKit, you couldn’t do HTML emails. That may be coming or it may have already come. You had to do plain text. I know for a lot of bloggers plain text is totally fine. We’ll actually talk about why plain text might be the best option for you anyway. But we came down on Drip.

If you are perhaps not wanting to do something quite as sophisticated as Drip and you want a tool that has been specifically designed for bloggers, ConvertKit is amazing. I would highly commend that company to you as well. Both of the companies are brilliant in terms of their customer service. Do have a look at both of them. If you wanna signup for them, I’d appreciate it if you’d do it through our links on the show notes because they are affiliate links and we do get a small commission on those things, help us to keep Problogger running. But even if you don’t, check them out. I do highly commend them to you. Both have a really good customer service as well, they’ve been very helpful for us.

They’re the two tools that I would use. I know others of you are using other tools. Most of the tools out there do have the same types of features. Again, if you haven’t set up a list yet, do pay for one. Don’t send your emails from your Gmail account. It’s just gonna get you into a lot of trouble.

Question number one was tools. Number two is “What content should I put in my emails?” And “How should I format them?”, I guess, is the third question as well. That’s where I wanna turn our attention to.

There are no rules for what you should send in a newsletter. There is one thing I would strongly encourage you to consider and that is to be consistent and to be regular, be consistent. Email subscribers are like blog readers, they like consistency. They quickly form expectations of what they’re gonna get from your list. They will signup and they’ll see your first email and they’ll see your second email. If they are similar to each other, they’ll expect your third email is gonna be like that.

If you are storytelling in your emails and then you suddenly switched to an opinion piece and then you suddenly switched to tips and then you suddenly switched to promotional stuff and you’re mixing things up constantly, some of your readers are gonna get frustrated with that. If you’re using different voices in your newsletter, they’ll begin to get a bit frustrated with that. We’ve actually found that our subscribers really like it when we do the same thing every week. I’ll tell you what we do in ours as well.

There’s a variety of things you can do in your newsletter but try to keep some consistency there in terms of how it looks, how it reads and I guess the benefits of it as well. They’re much more likely to stay subscribed and just stay engaged with your list, keep opening your list, keep looking for your emails if you have some consistency there in terms of what they get and also when they get it. Don’t stray too far from the normal, you can mix things up a little bit. Always try to keep some consistency there particularly in the way it looks, I think, is really important.

There’s a variety of things you can do with that newsletter. What I wanna do is just give you three different options, you could also probably do a combination of these things or something else as well, again consistency is the key. These are the three most common things that I see in newsletters doing. Each has their own strength. The first thing you could do is to write exclusive content especially for the newsletter list.

I see some bloggers doing this very effectively, they send a weekly or maybe every second week or even a monthly type of email. You open the email and it’s an article in the email. There’s actually a tip or there are some news or there’s a story in the email itself. You don’t have to click on it and anything to go and read the content, they actually put the content in the email. It’s something exclusive and valuable just for the subscribers. It’s almost like they’ve written an extra blog post that week just for the email.

There are lots of bloggers who do this. I’ve used the example of Nicole Avery who is one of our subject matter experts on Problogger, she has written a lot of articles for us. She’s got a blog called Planning with Kids and she does this in her newsletter. If you subscribed to it you’ll see that she’s essentially writing an extra article or blog post every week just for subscribers, you can’t get it anywhere else.

This approach works really well because it helps your subscribers to feel a little bit special, you’re giving them a reason to stay subscribed because they can’t get this valuable content anywhere else. Your emails have the value inside them. They actually begin to look for them and begin to expect them and they open them. They don’t say, “This is all just stuff in the blog.” This is something I can’t get anywhere else. They get into the habit of opening those emails. That’s a really powerful thing.

The downside of this approach is you have to write something extra every week. It is going to go to a smaller audience than potentially your blog. You write a blog article and it’s there for all time and it gets indexed by Google and it gets shared by social media for all time. It can get a lot more eyeballs on it. It feels like you’re doing a lot of work for less effort but the work that it’s doing with your subscribers can be very powerful because it can build a deep connection with them, it can make them very thankful for it and it gets them in the habit of looking for your emails because they know they cannot get it anywhere else.

That’s option number one, you create something exclusive for your newsletter list. The type two of what you could send in terms of a newsletter is where you send out your blog post by email. Essentially every time you publish a blog post, you send an email sending people to that blog post or you actually email the blog post itself. There’s a couple of different options within this one. This is something that’s possibly a little bit easier to do because you’re not writing extra content for your newsletter, you’re just promoting that content or you’re repurposing that content for your newsletter as well.

If you’re short on time, this is a good way to go. An example of this is Jon Morrow, Jon has a blog called Smart Blogger. He argues really strongly for this type of newsletter. If you sign up for his newsletter, you’ll get an email anytime he publishes a new blog post. The email generally has two or three paragraphs that introduce the topic and then links to where you can read it. Sometimes he might have the first paragraph or two of the blog post and then says further reading or read the rest here. Sometimes he will rewrite that introduction and give you a good reason to go and read that article.

He’s sending out these emails every time he does a new blog post. This works for Jon because he’s not publishing everyday. Sometimes, I think, he publishes two or three times a month. It’s less regular. He’s not interrupting his subscribers constantly. It’s probably not recommended if you publish everyday or several times a day. I think on Digital Photography School, our readers will get highly annoyed if we email them every time we did a blog post because we publish 14 a week.

This approach is good for those of you who are short on time. It’s all about delivering traffic to your blog. The emails themselves don’t deliver a lot of value in the email. It’s not as good in terms of getting people used to the idea of opening the emails because there’s that little voice in the back of their heads saying, “I could read this on the blog, I don’t need to read this email.” You’re giving them perhaps a little less reason to do it. If the content is valuable on your blog and you’re only doing one a month or one a week, it’s possibly something that will work for you.

Another approach that I have seen on this is where the blogger has actually put the whole blog post in the email. They might publish the blog post on their blog but then they’ll also send that whole blog post in an article format in the email itself. This is where you do build some value in the emails themselves. This means your subscriber doesn’t visit your blogs often but for some of us, that doesn’t matter.

If you’re monetizing your blog with advertises, you do wanna get them over to your blog. Teasing them with that first paragraph or two and then saying read the rest here, that’s definitely a good way to go. If you are just about trying to build credibility, authority, you’re trying to make your readers connected to you, then it probably doesn’t matter where they read your content. This is an option, if that is your goal, if you wanna monetize your blog less directly by selling a product to them, then you maybe just wanna deliver that content in the email itself. There’s a couple options there.

The last type of email that you might wanna send is what I do, that is where you do a digest type email. You might send a weekly or a monthly digest of what you’ve published in that last period on your blog, you might wanna send links to all of the new content you’ve published or just the highlights of what you published in that period of time. Generally, people are doing this weekly or monthly but you could do it any period as well, you could do it every second week.

If you’re publishing several posts a week like we do, you don’t wanna be emailing your readers every time a new post goes up or as people unsubscribe. This is really where you digest it all. Digital Photography School is a good example of this. Every Thursday, I sit down and I look at the 14 posts that were published over the last week and I arrange them into categories and then I plug them into a template that we have had designed for us, it’s an HTML template. It’s basically a digest of the week.

Basically if you open that email, I can put a screenshot in today’s show notes, sometimes we’ll put a little introduction of something that happened during the week or highlighting a promotion that we’ve got on. The email is essentially a list of our new posts. They’ll be 14 new posts there, we also have some messaging from advertises there if we’re promoting something of our own or have a promotion going, we will highlight that as well but it’s generally a digest of all the stuff that’s going on in the blog. Occasionally we’ll also link to our Facebook page or our Facebook group and promote the community that’s going on as well.

Problogger PLUS newsletter is similar although simpler, we only publish three posts a week usually on Problogger, one blog post, one podcast, and one Facebook live or video on Facebook. Our Problogger PLUS newsletter only got the three links. Occasionally, I’ll also highlight a post in our archives that I think is relevant still today. I usually would include an introduction in the Problogger one because I’m trying to build a connection with readers as well, I wanna give people an insight into what’s going on at Problogger headquarters or something that has been going on on the blog over the last week.

These digest type emails are good for those of you who do have a lot of content. They’re also really good if you are trying to drive traffic to your site, you wanna get people across to your site, you’re highlighting all the blog posts but you’re not annoying your readers if you’re publishing a lot of content.

Use an introduction, I would encourage you to do that as well because that’s where you can build a more personal connection with your readers as well.

Three different types of newsletters that you can do. The third question I wanna briefly cover is what format should they be in, I get this question all the time. Should you be sending your emails in plain text, rich text which I’ll explain in a moment, or HTML. On our blogs and if you get the Problogger PLUS newsletter, you’ll know it’s branded with Problogger, you’ll see the logo in it, it’s a fairly simple design but it is HTML. There’s a picture of me in it, there’s color, there’s the Problogger color, there’s the Problogger logo. This, hopefully, makes it a little bit more visually appealing but it also reinforces the brand and it personalizes it as well because it got my face in it.

We do the same thing with Digital Photography School as well, we have the DPS colors, we’ve arranged it into categories. Particular on DPS, it’s useful to go HTML because we got a lot of content in there, there’s 14 links, there are messages from our advertises as well. We wanna draw the eye to different paths of it as well. HTML is really good if you’ve got a lot going on in your emails as well.

That costs us, we actually had to pay to get those designs done, our developers did it so we pay them to do that. It does take a little bit of time to get our emails together each week, it’s not just a matter of sitting down and writing a few paragraphs. I actually have to sit there and plug it into the template to test all the design to make sure it’s all working. It’s a little bit more involved in terms of putting it together but I do think it reinforces our brand.

Plain text is another option. I see a lot of bloggers doing it. I think there are some really good reasons for just doing plain text emails as well. Firstly it’s cheaper, you don’t have to get anyone to design it, it’s quicker and easy to put together. Generally it takes me 45 minutes or so to put out newsletters together each week, a little less for Problogger. A plain text email would be a lot quicker than that, at least half that time not including whatever you’re writing. Sometimes the writing itself could take more. The plain text email would be a lot quicker.

Also, the deliverability of a plain text email could be better than an HTML one. We’ve certainly seen that when we do our promotional emails, when we promote with an HTML email, our deliverability suffers. We generally do our sales type emails in plain text. You might wanna test that, plain text versus HTML. Every time we’ve done a split test on that in terms of our sales emails, we see plain text winning.

The other option is what’s called rich text. This is where you use some formatting. You might use bold or italics or you make any links, you link a word rather than putting the full link. This makes your emails look a little bit neater, it means you can draw the eye, you’d bold to create headings. It can be more useful if you’ve got slightly longer emails as well to draw the eye down the page. They are your three main options.

I would encourage if you’re just starting out and you’re feeling challenged to buy it all and you’re tethering on the edge of should I get into email or not, start with plain text, it’s so much simpler to do. At least you’ll be sending something every week, you wanna get into the rhythm of sending that. You can always progress to HTML later. Start simple.

Fourth question, a really brief answer to this one is how frequent should I be sending the emails. Again there’s no right answer here except to say regularity is so important, your readers will get used to the rhythm that you choose so stick to it. Personally, I really like weekly emails because it becomes a part of people’s week, it also leaves enough space between the emails that you can also send them extra emails. I’ll talk about some of those in a moment. Also, they forget who you are. That’s the danger of going monthly, is that if you go monthly, some will not signup for your newsletter today.

They may not hear from you for 29 days if they sign up on the first of the month then you send your emails on the last of the month. That distance between emails, there’s a danger there that they don’t feel connected to you, that they forget they even subscribed to you. I like weekly because it is a little bit more regular than that and it keeps you in front of people at the top of their mind.

Ultimately, the frequency you choose really needs to depend upon one, how much time do you have. If you don’t have much time, less frequent is okay. The format that you’re trying to send emails in, if you’re doing HTML, it could take a little longer so it may be less frequent. If you’re doing plain text, it’s a little bit easy to do so it may be more frequent. What are you putting in your emails, are they long, are you writing exclusive content for them, then less frequent might be okay because one, it’s gonna take you longer to create those emails but two, it’s gonna take longer to read.

You don’t wanna be sending really long articles everyday to your readers because again they can’t consume that much content so less frequent might be okay if the content is a really deep content. I guess ultimately, what are your readers’ expectations and what’s their ability to consume the content as well. They’re some of the questions I would be asking. Again, I think weekly is probably a good starting point. You can always decrease or increase it slowly over time but don’t jump and change too much.

Fifth question, it’s really the last question, is what other types of emails should you consider sending as well? We send out our weekly newsletters but in between the weekly newsletters, some weeks, there’s another email. Sometimes there’s even two. There’s different types of emails that we add into the sequence of emails that we send.

Let’s go through the three types. Promotional emails, this is where we launch a new product or run a sale on an existing product or doing an affiliate promotion of some kind or a sponsored type of campaign as well. If you’ve got a sponsor, sometimes you might send an email out about that campaign or about that offer as well.

Emails, for us, result in most of our sales. This is a really important type of email for us but we don’t wanna go overboard with the promotional emails as well. If we promote something new every three days, our readers are gonna push back and they’re gonna get mad. We really try to be as careful as possible, we wanna be promoting enough that we are profitable but we don’t wanna promote so much that we lose subscribers. You’re gonna play this a little bit by ear.

One key for us is that we map out at the start of the year what promotions we’re gonna run over the next year. We are, at present, mapping out 2018, what ebooks and courses are we going to launch, which ones that we’ve already launched will we do relaunches of or promotions on, what seasonal promotions are we gonna do in 2018, are we gonna do Black Friday, are we gonna do a Christmas sale and what affiliate promotions are we gonna do. The beauty of mapping it out ahead of time is that you can space things out.

We typically run a promotion for a week or even two weeks. We know that during those times, we’re gonna be sending out multiple emails in addition to our newsletter. We wanna space those out, we don’t wanna run a promotion this week and then another promotion next week and then another promotion the week after. We wanna space them out, give our readers a bit of a break in between. That’s another type of email that you could build in.

An autoresponder sequence would be another option. This can be a really great way to bring your new subscribers up to speed with some of the other stuff that you’ve got in your archives. If someone subscribes to Digital Photography School today, they’ve missed out on over 7000 articles in our archives. What we’ve created is a sequence of emails that goes out automatically to anyone who subscribes to our newsletter. Every 30 or so days, they get an extra email. It’s time to go out on a Sunday, our newsletters always go out on Thursday, our promotional emails usually go out on a Tuesday.

We got this rhythm that you always will get a Thursday email newsletter. You’ll sometimes get a Tuesday promotional email, this is maybe one in three weeks and then one in four weeks you’ll get a Sunday email that is highlighting something in our archives. An autoresponder is where you setup that sequence of emails ahead of time. You just let it run to anyone new who subscribes up.

There is a whole episode of this podcast dedicated to autoresponders that I’ve done in Episode 70, I’ll link to that in the show notes but you might wanna also go back and listen to that. It’s a very powerful strategy to use because it’s a set and forget type of thing. You do it once, you setup that email once and then for all eternity or until you stop, I choose to stop sending that particular email, that email automatically go out to all new subscribers at the set intervals, a very powerful strategy.

The third type of email that you might wanna send as well is more of an interaction type of email. This is where you send out a question to your readers and encourage them to reply. This might seem a little bit crazy, you don’t want all your subscribers sending you emails but it’s a very powerful thing to do. For example you might send out a welcome email and then at the end of that welcome email say, “Please tell us about your experience with…” That is a very powerful thing because it signals to your subscribers that you’re interested in hearing from them.

That adds work to you because you’re gonna start getting more emails but it’s gonna give you incredible insight into your subscribers and it’s gonna make it realize that you are not just wanting to send them emails, you’re wanting to have a conversation with them.

Another option that may be a little less work is where you setup an email and it might be part of that autoresponder sequence that we just talked about where you send out an invitation to complete a survey. This is something that we do on Digital Photography School after you’ve been subscribed to our newsletter.

I think that’s three months, we have an email that goes out automatically on the autoresponder sequence. It says, “Could you take five minutes to do this survey?” The survey has questions about their demographics but also asks them questions about their photography and it gives them an opportunity to ask questions as well about photography that they’ve got which gives us ideas for content. These types of emails are not so much about driving traffic to your archives and are not designed to get sales. They’re designed to help you understand who your readers are and also to make them feel a little bit more connected to you.

Another option that you might wanna do is adding the occasional email that promotes your Facebook group, your Facebook page, your Instagram account, these type of places as well. Again, this is about engagement, trying to get a second point of connection with your subscribers. These are the three types of extra emails that you might wanna send, there would be others as well. If you’ve got any others that you send out, that you’ve built into your rhythm of sending emails, I’d love to hear about them over in the Facebook group.

The last question that I get asked all the time from people is how do I get more subscribers to my newsletter. I’m not gonna cover this today in this episode but I do recommend you go and listen to two episodes, Episode 68 and Episode 69. These are two different strategies for building your subscriber numbers of your newsletter. I think both of those would be well worth listening to once you finish this one in a couple of minutes.

The last thing I wanna say is to make it a priority, make email a priority for 2018. I’ve seen something, the two big problems I see amongst so many blogger are bloggers who don’t have email lists, that’s the number one problem, or they’ve signed up for a service and they aren’t collecting email addresses. The second big problem is bloggers who don’t send emails. I see this all the time, people who are collecting emails everyday, they’re getting new subscribers but they’re not sending emails.

If you fall into either of those categories, one, know that you’re not alone but two, know that I’m not satisfied until you get that thing fixed. I want you to make it a priority in 2018. I really have seen the way that email has transformed my business, it has really brought a lot of traffic and a lot of income and a lot of connection with our readers as well over the years. It is a central part of what we do. Put some priorities into that. Even if you’ve got an email list and you’re still listening, make it a priority to take a critical look at what you’re doing with your email.

Do you need to change up your newsletter? Do you need to start an autoresponder sequence? Do you need to think about the design of your email? Do you need to test the format, plain text versus HTML? Do you need to do some testing in terms of the subject lines that you use? Do you need to consider upgrading your email service provider? I highly encourage you to take a critical look on some of that type of stuff.

The last thing I’ll say is if you haven’t started, start simple even if you just send a monthly plain text email once a month, a plain text email with three paragraphs that simply links to a recent post that did well for you. That is better than nothing. Don’t let the tools, don’t let the formatting, don’t let the link, don’t let the content itself hold you back, send something. Make it valuable, it doesn’t need to be long, it doesn’t need to be profound, just make it deliver a little bit of value to your subscribers and they will keep looking for your emails and it will begin to build some momentum for you.

I can’t wait to see what happens as a result of this. Remember to start simple and then let it evolve from there. You can always get more complicated with your emails but you really need to make a start on it.

Today’s show notes where there are links to Drip and ConvertKit and there’s a bit of a summary through a transcript of all the things that I’ve said and some further reading for you as well, further listening. You can find that all over at problogger.com/podcast/220. It’s the end of the year and I do wanna add my season’s greetings to those of who are celebrating at the moment and those of you who are listening in the New Year. I hope it’s been a good year for you.

We are moving now into a bit of a series of podcasts where you’re going to hear some other voices. I’m gonna introduce them but as I said in last week’s podcast, we wanted to hear some of your stories and we’ve had some amazing stories submitted. I’m really looking forward to introducing them to you in the coming weeks over at the end of the year and as we move into next year where we’re gonna start a series of content on starting a blog. I really am looking forward to that.

Those of you who haven’t started a blog yet, this is gonna be a great time for you. Those of you who wanna start a second blog, this is a great time for you to do that as well because we’re gonna give you some great content that’s gonna help you to do that, it’s free. We’re also going to help to celebrate some of those new blogs that have started. Make January a time of starting a new blog. I look forward to introducing that whole concept to you more next week on the ProBlogger podcast.

If you are looking for something else to listen to, I do recommend you go back and listen to Episode 68, 69, and 70. 68 and 69 are about how to get more subscribers for that email list that we’ve just been talking about and Episode 70 was all about auto responders. You should be able to find them all over in iTunes where I hope you’re all subscribed and have left some nice reviews for us or over on the show notes areas at problogger.com/podcast and then you just put the number, 68 or 69 or 70. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 220: What You Should Include in Your Email Newsletters appeared first on ProBlogger.

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What Do Google’s New, Longer Snippets Mean for SEO? – Whiteboard Friday

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/seomoz/~3/CnzBtuconkk/googles-longer-snippets

Posted by randfish

Snippets and meta descriptions have brand-new character limits, and it’s a big change for Google and SEOs alike. Learn about what’s new, when it changed, and what it all means for SEO in this edition of Whiteboard Friday.

What do Google's now, longer snippets mean for SEO?

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

<span id=”selection-marker-1″ class=”redactor-selection-marker”></span>Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about Google’s big change to the snippet length.

This is the display length of the snippet for any given result in the search results that Google provides. This is on both mobile and desktop. It sort of impacts the meta description, which is how many snippets are written. They’re taken from the meta description tag of the web page. Google essentially said just last week, “Hey, we have officially increased the length, the recommended length, and the display length of what we will show in the text snippet of standard organic results.”

So I’m illustrating that for you here. I did a search for “net neutrality bill,” something that’s on the minds of a lot of Americans right now. You can see here that this article from The Hill, which is a recent article — it was two days ago — has a much longer text snippet than what we would normally expect to find. In fact, I went ahead and counted this one and then showed it here.


So basically, at the old 165-character limit, which is what you would have seen prior to the middle of December on most every search result, occasionally Google would have a longer one for very specific kinds of search results, but more than 90%, according to data from SISTRIX, which put out a great report and I’ll link to it here, more than 90% of search snippets were 165 characters or less prior to the middle of November. Then Google added basically a few more lines.

So now, on mobile and desktop, instead of an average of two or three lines, we’re talking three, four, five, sometimes even six lines of text. So this snippet here is 266 characters that Google is displaying. The next result, from Save the Internet, is 273 characters. Again, this might be because Google sort of realized, “Hey, we almost got all of this in here. Let’s just carry it through to the end rather than showing the ellipsis.” But you can see that 165 characters would cut off right here. This one actually does a good job of displaying things.

So imagine a searcher is querying for something in your field and they’re just looking for a basic understanding of what it is. So they’ve never heard of net neutrality. They’re not sure what it is. So they can read here, “Net neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down, or blocking any . . .” And that’s where it would cut off. Or that’s where it would have cut off in November.

Now, if I got a snippet like that, I need to visit the site. I’ve got to click through in order to learn more. That doesn’t tell me enough to give me the data to go through. Now, Google has tackled this before with things, like a featured snippet, that sit at the top of the search results, that are a more expansive short answer. But in this case, I can get the rest of it because now, as of mid-November, Google has lengthened this. So now I can get, “Any content, applications, or websites you want to use. Net neutrality is the way that the Internet has always worked.”

Now, you might quibble and say this is not a full, thorough understanding of what net neutrality is, and I agree. But for a lot of searchers, this is good enough. They don’t need to click any more. This extension from 165 to 275 or 273, in this case, has really done the trick.

What changed?

So this can have a bunch of changes to SEO too. So the change that happened here is that Google updated basically two things. One, they updated the snippet length, and two, they updated their guidelines around it.

So Google’s had historic guidelines that said, well, you want to keep your meta description tag between about 160 and 180 characters. I think that was the number. They’ve updated that to where they say there’s no official meta description recommended length. But on Twitter, Danny Sullivan said that he would probably not make that greater than 320 characters. In fact, we and other data providers, that collect a lot of search results, didn’t find many that extended beyond 300. So I think that’s a reasonable thing.

When?

When did this happen? It was starting at about mid-November. November 22nd is when SISTRIX’s dataset starts to notice the increase, and it was over 50%. Now it’s sitting at about 51% of search results that have these longer snippets in at least 1 of the top 10 as of December 2nd.

Here’s the amazing thing, though — 51% of search results have at least one. Many of those, because they’re still pulling old meta descriptions or meta descriptions that SEO has optimized for the 165-character limit, are still very short. So if you’re the person in your search results, especially it’s holiday time right now, lots of ecommerce action, if you’re the person to go update your important pages right now, you might be able to get more real estate in the search results than any of your competitors in the SERPs because they’re not updating theirs.

How will this affect SEO?

So how is this going to really change SEO? Well, three things:

A. It changes how marketers should write and optimize the meta description.

We’re going to be writing a little bit differently because we have more space. We’re going to be trying to entice people to click, but we’re going to be very conscientious that we want to try and answer a lot of this in the search result itself, because if we can, there’s a good chance that Google will rank us higher, even if we’re actually sort of sacrificing clicks by helping the searcher get the answer they need in the search result.

B. It may impact click-through rate.

We’ll be looking at Jumpshot data over the next few months and year ahead. We think that there are two likely ways they could do it. Probably negatively, meaning fewer clicks on less complex queries. But conversely, possible it will get more clicks on some more complex queries, because people are more enticed by the longer description. Fingers crossed, that’s kind of what you want to do as a marketer.

C. It may lead to lower click-through rate further down in the search results.

If you think about the fact that this is taking up the real estate that was taken up by three results with two, as of a month ago, well, maybe people won’t scroll as far down. Maybe the ones that are higher up will in fact draw more of the clicks, and thus being further down on page one will have less value than it used to.

What should SEOs do?

What are things that you should do right now? Number one, make a priority list — you should probably already have this — of your most important landing pages by search traffic, the ones that receive the most search traffic on your website, organic search. Then I would go and reoptimize those meta descriptions for the longer limits.

Now, you can judge as you will. My advice would be go to the SERPs that are sending you the most traffic, that you’re ranking for the most. Go check out the limits. They’re probably between about 250 and 300, and you can optimize somewhere in there.

The second thing I would do is if you have internal processes or your CMS has rules around how long you can make a meta description tag, you’re going to have to update those probably from the old limit of somewhere in the 160 to 180 range to the new 230 to 320 range. It doesn’t look like many are smaller than 230 now, at least limit-wise, and it doesn’t look like anything is particularly longer than 320. So somewhere in there is where you’re going to want to stay.

Good luck with your new meta descriptions and with your new snippet optimization. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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219: I’d like to Feature YOU on the ProBlogger Podcast

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ProbloggerHelpingBloggersEarnMoney/~3/gerYqwazA3g/

An Invitation for YOU to Be Featured on the ProBlogger Podcast

Today’s podcast is a little different. It’s an invitation for YOU to be featured in an upcoming episode of the ProBlogger podcast.

Early next year we’ll be releasing a brand new free course for bloggers to help them launch their blogs.

And in the lead up we want to feature stories and tips from ProBlogger listeners and readers who’ve already started their own blogs.

So if you’ve started a blog, whether it was recently or a long time ago, we’d love to include you in the series.

Links and Resources on I’d like to Feature YOU on the ProBlogger Podcast Blogging What’s Your Story? Facebook Group

Join the video challenge in our Facebook group

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Hi there, it’s Darren from ProBlogger. Welcome to Episode 219 of the ProBlogger podcast. Today I’ve got something a little bit different. Normally I teach something to you. I share an idea or a tip on how to improve your blog. But today I want to invite you to teach the rest of our audience. I want to try something a little different and give you an invitation to be featured in an upcoming episode of the ProBlogger podcast.

Early next year we’re going to be releasing a brand new course for bloggers to help them to launch their first blog, pre-bloggers really. In the lead up to that, we would love to feature stories and tips from ProBlogger listeners and readers who’ve already started their blog. If you’ve started a blog, whether it be in the last few months, the last year, or a long time ago, I would to love to include you in this upcoming series.

Today’s episode is all about how you can be involved in this little project we’re running. Listen on to find out how. But let me share the show notes for today where you can find all the details of what I’m going to mention, it’s at problogger.com/podcast/219.

Every year in January we notice a really big swing, upswing, in traffic to ProBlogger’s articles on the topic of how to start a blog. It seems that many people make this their New Year’s resolution. “I’m going to start a blog in 2018.” And we’re expecting that in the beginning of next year, many people will begin to do that.

This next January, we want to really help as many of those bloggers as possible in a way that we’ve never done it before. We want to really see in 2018 be the year that thousands of new blogs get started. And to do this we’ve been working on a brand new free course on that very topic that’s going to walk pre-bloggers through the process of not only setting up a blog, the technicalities of that, but setting up the foundations for a profitable blog.

We’re going to be talking about choosing a topic, and a niche, and really refining what it is that you want to do on that blog. It’s not just about getting a domain and a server, that’s certainly part of what we want to help people with that. But we want to really get the right foundations for starting a blog.

If you are one of our listeners, and there are quite a few of you who are yet to start, yet to do your first blog, or you’re thinking about starting a second blog, I want to encourage you to just be on the lookout for that because it’ll happen early next year. You can sign up to be notified of that in today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/219.

But if you are someone who’s already started blogging, we would also love to involve you in the process as much as possible. We want to ask you to share your story and a few tips on the topic of starting a blog.

My team and I are really excited about this course we’ve already put together. I’s very comprehensive. It’s the kind of thing I wish I had when I was starting out. However, we know that in the wider ProBlogger community, there’s such amazing knowledge and some really inspirational stories that come from a variety of different backgrounds that would be invaluable to bloggers just starting out. We know that there are people in our audience who are fashion bloggers, food bloggers, travel bloggers, business blogger, technology bloggers, sports bloggers, the list could go on and on and on. To be honest, I don’t have experience at all of those different niches and all the different styles of blogging. We want to include as many of your stories and tips as possible so that new bloggers have different things to draw and different experiences to draw on.

We want you to be involved. And want to give you an opportunity to share some of your stories and advice here on the ProBlogger podcast and potentially over on the ProBlogger blog as well.

We would love to hear from you and we’d love to hear from you whether you are an old-time blogger, you’ve been maybe at it as long as I have, from 2002, or maybe you’re a newer blogger. We actually want to feature blogs of all stages and in all niches and of all styles, we want to encourage video bloggers and those who are doing audio blogs, and those who are doing more visual blogs, we really don’t mind. As long as you classify what you’re doing as a blog, we would love to hear your story, no matter what the niche, the style, where your background is, whether you’re from America, Australia, Zimbabwe, it really doesn’t matter. We would like you to keep it in English because that’s where the bulk of our audience is from. But apart from that, whatever background, whatever accent you have, we would love to try and feature as many of you as possible.

This is really going to help a lot of new bloggers, but hopefully, it’s also going to be good for you as it’s going to get your story, your blog, your URL, in front of thousands of listeners of this podcast and tens of thousands of subscribers of the email list that we send out every day. Our readers are a friendly bunch, so don’t worry about that.

Here’s what we need you to do. If you want to participate in this, and again, blogs of all sizes, it doesn’t matter, we would love you to submit a short audio file. We want to keep it under ten minutes. You can go five minutes if you want, but anything up to ten minutes and we want you to share your story of starting a blog and share some tips for those starting out. You can do it in your style, but there are few things that we do want you to include. Before you go run off and do your recording, we want to have some consistency between the storytelling. There are six questions we would like you to answer. As long as you cover these six things in some way in your story, that would be great. You don’t have to read the question and then answer it (if you want to do it that way, you can), but as long as you include these things we’d love to include you as much as possible.

Here are the six things.

We want you to tell you us your name, your blog’s name and the topic, its URL, that’s the first thing. Just keep that really short.

The second thing is for you to tell us the story of starting a blog. Include things like why did you start, when did you start, what were your objectives, hopes and goals, what were your dreams when you started out. It’s the expectations that you had, I guess, and anything interesting happening in that starting process.

The third thing we want you to include is in hindsight, what did you do in starting your blog that you’re most grateful that you did? We want you to identify something that you did right, something that you’re grateful that you did, something that maybe helped you to grow faster or made the process easier. Keep in mind here that these are new pre-bloggers who will be listening to this. Anything that’s going to help them to make their process easier would be great.

The fourth thing, what mistake or mistakes did you make that you would advise other people watch out for. Did you choose the wrong domain, the wrong server, the wrong theme, did you not have a tight enough niche, whatever it is, mistake or mistakes.

Number five, what good things have happened to you since you’ve started blogging. We would love to hear the upside, what has happened since you started blogging. For some of you, there’ll be a lot that you can choose from. Don’t go into great depth in all of it, just choose one thing. Something specific as possible. Maybe it’s traffic, maybe it’s an opportunity that came, maybe it’s a lesson you learned, maybe it’s you got some self-confidence, maybe you’ve got a new income. Feel free to be specific about that if you’d like. Really, I guess what we’re trying here to do is to share with pre-bloggers some of the upside, some of the good things that can come. We want to inspire people to start blogging.

The sixth thing is what is your number one tip for a new blogger. Something practical that new bloggers can do or decide that will have a big impact on their blog. Again, we want them to come away from this with some practical things to do, to try. Keep in mind with that last one that we don’t want to really feature ten of the same tips. You can choose something that might be common. But if you’ve got something interesting, something a little bit unique that you haven’t heard other people talk about, feel free to include that as well.

There are the six things we want you to include. Keep it under ten minutes, it’s going to have to be fairly tight. My team has set up a page for you at problogger.com/blogstory where you’ll find all of that information, and it will point you to a Google Form where you can log in with your Google account and submit your audio file and a headshot.

We’d love a headshot. If you are blogging anonymously, for your freedom, maybe include your logo or something that symbolizes who you are if you want to keep that anonymous. But we’d love to see who are if you’re happy and comfortable to do that.

Before you record anything, please do read through the guidelines that we’ve included on that page just so you do it in the right way to increase your chance of being featured. One other thing: we really need you to act in the next week or so, if possible, to be considered in the first batch of episodes that we’d like to do. We may do more episodes down the track but if you would like to be considered for this first batch, we really do need your audio file by the 11th of December. As this podcast goes live, you got about a week to do that. You can submit after that time for potential lighter episodes but we’d love as many as possible by the 11th of December.

It’s also worth saying that I’m very excited about this but I’m also slightly nervous about doing it because we really don’t know how many are going to be submitted. It may be that we get ten, those ten, we’ll probably be able to feature a lot them. But we may get a hundred or we may get a thousand. I really don’t know. We will try and include as many as we possibly can. But it’s really going to come down to trying to choose ones that we think are going to be most practical and inspiring for new bloggers. And maybe something that’s a little bit unique as well. If you’ve got sort of a unique story, or if you’re blogging a unique way or a unique niche, that would be great as well.

Your recording certainly doesn’t have to be perfect but do try and make your audio quality decent and clear and think about how you can stand out from everyone else that does submit.

I hope that’s clear. If you got any questions, feel free to ask them over at the ProBlogger Facebook group. We’ll be watching out for those over the next week or so. Again, head over to problogger.com/blogstory to participate and I’ll link to that over on the show notes as well.

I’m really excited about this. I love this type of thing. We actually, a few years ago now, invited readers to submit video tips. We had 20 or so people record a tip on video and that was a fantastic post, I really love seeing and hearing the voices of our readers. Particularly the breadth of people that came from around the world, all those different accents. I know there are a lot of you who listen from America, or in Australia, or in the UK, Canada. We’ve also got a lot of listeners in India, Singapore, Manila. We’ve got listeners throughout Africa. I’d love to get as many different accents and experiences as possible. It’s fascinating to see that. Please feel confident to do it, please submit something and I really look forward to seeing what comes in as a result of this. Again, problogger.com/blogstory.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 219: I’d like to Feature YOU on the ProBlogger Podcast appeared first on ProBlogger.

      


MLSP Week-in-Review: November 27, 2017

Originally published on: https://blog.myleadsystempro.com/mlsp-review-11-27-2017

Another week of amazing (and potentially life-changing) content has come and gone at MLPS. But that doesn’t mean that YOU can’t still see it. This is the stuff that leaders are made of. Quite literally. Every single week day the leaders of MLSP…and the industry as a whole…come to the MLSP Wake Up Call and […]

The post MLSP Week-in-Review: November 27, 2017 appeared first on My Lead System PRO – MyLeadSystemPRO.


Infographic: How to Generate Leads with Social Media

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~3/6hSPkErLAGY/

generating leads with social media

Today’s infographic is about generating leads with social media. However, I want to quickly talk about using social media for prospecting and outreach, because for certain businesses, this can be an amazing method of lead generation. From what I can tell, a lot of salespeople are still doing the age-old “pitch email” when it comes to prospecting and outreach. I know this because I get plenty of them myself. But, I just really feel that the traditional pitch email approach isn’t that effective. No one likes unsolicited email. No one likes getting sold to. And not many salespeople really like…

The post Infographic: How to Generate Leads with Social Media appeared first on The Daily Egg.


Learn AdWords in Under an Hour with WordStream & Skillshare

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WordStreamBlog/~3/6PxDtgupwYg/adwords-class

Learning paid search is hard – and it’s harder on your own! So many paid search marketers are self-taught, and it can take months to fully understand the fundamentals, create keywords, write ads, and launch your first campaigns – and then even longer to fix some mistakes you learn too late! But not all advertisers have the time to learn paid search, and even fewer have the budget to make mistakes in their first campaigns.

Well, if you’re struggling with this yourself, you’re in luck: WordStream recently paired with SkillShare to launch a full class to help you master Google AdWords fundamentals and launch your first paid search campaign! I do a lot internal training here at WordStream, so I’ll be your instructor through this course.

You can watch a teaser of the course here:

During the one-hour course, split up into 11 videos, you’ll learn how to manage your first Google AdWords campaign, create your keywords, write amazing paid search ads, structure your ad groups and campaigns, and how to measure your success.

Beyond just getting started, you’ll also learn strategies for maintaining your campaigns by reducing your wasted spend, adding negative keywords, adjusting your bids, and refining the audiences that see your ads.

The course is hosted on SkillShare and covers everything you’ll need to know to launch your first Google AdWords campaign – in just under an hour. Courses on SkillShare can be streamed anytime and on any device, and best of all, SkillShare members can watch this class (or any other of their 17,000+ classes) for free!

To learn more on the Fundamentals of Google AdWords, enroll in the course here and enjoy a free 2-month subscription to SkillShare’s full library of 17,000+ classes. You can ask me questions or interact with other students in the class in the “Community” tab, and there’s even a project (think of it as homework) to test your knowledge.

After completing the course, you’ll have your first AdWords campaign up and running and you can continue to learn through WordStream’s free PPC University or optimize your new campaign using our free Google AdWords Grader. SkillShare also offers plenty of other courses for digital marketers looking to learn more about SEO, social media, email marketing, web design, and more, so start exploring!

About the author:

Mark is a Senior Data Scientist at WordStream, focused on research and training for the everchanging world of PPC. He was named the 5th Most Influential PPC Expert of 2017 by PPC Hero. You can follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and SkillShare.


How to Make Paid Search & Social Media Marketing Work Together

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WordStreamBlog/~3/rYsMLdKbZLQ/combine-ppc-with-social-media

Life is all about choices. Do we side with the Montagues or the Capulets? Do we prefer to eat ice cream, French fries, or waffles? Should we get a cat, a dog, or maybe a fish?

Combine PPC with social media

Overwhelmed by abundant choices, people often end up opting for one thing– and stick with it. That’s why you see so many experts in online marketing specializing in one approach.

But why do we have to choose between PPC and social media? There are many ways for these two marketing strategies to go hand in hand.

After all, cross-channel efforts usually work best. For example, even when NewsCred discovered that every $1 spent on LinkedIn Sponsored Updates led to $17 in revenue, they still found that they had their best results when combining efforts across channels and focusing on the quality of the content they were promoting.

Don’t view social media and paid search as if they’re from different dimensions. You can leverage these two channels in a hybrid, complementary way that boosts website visits and drives sales by keeping the following tips in mind.

Your First Priority: Gathering Information

Insights from social media can feed PPC, and vice versa.

 Combine PPC with social media Twitter Analytics dashboard screenshot

Twitter Analytics can be an excellent source of data

Neil Patel recommends using one medium—like Twitter—to discover which headlines are most effective, then using that information to choose the headline you share on LinkedIn. This method of optimizing across channels means that by the time you’ve finished promoting a link, you have a good idea of what type of tactic works.

Both PPC and social media are valuable tools for gathering information that can then be used across different channels. Here’s how to start gathering info to inform your efforts:

Leverage the information already out there. Save the time running an A/B test for content ideas by using BuzzSumo to dig up the topics that are already resonating with people, and use the insights to fine-tune your campaign afterwards.

Track your ROI

“What gets measured, gets managed.” In the aforementioned NewsCred case study, they found that LinkedIn Sponsored Updates outperformed AdWords at a rate of 17.6 to 3.1.

Combine PPC with social media LinkedIn Sponsored Updates example

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates can be highly effective. Image via Sprinklr.

Wouldn’t you like to know if one platform was serving you that well? It only happens when you track everything.

Observe the competition and identify the common threads of success

Don’t steal your headlines, but do ask yourself what trends and insights they’re using to boost both PPC success and enhance their social media followings. What is their brand doing right—that you can also do in your own way?

Where do you get most of your results?

Follow the Pareto Principle and remember that in most cases, a majority of your results comes from a minority of inputs. What are the strategies, blog posts, or social media headlines grabbing the most attention? Which ones are lagging behind?

Test, test, test

Successful PPC marketers know that testing is key. So bring that concept over to social media. For example, use Facebook Audience Insights to get a better handle of your best-performing demographics.

 Combine PPC with social media Facebook Audience Insights dashboard screenshot

Facebook Audience Insights offers marketers an amazing
amount of data on their audience segments

When you use information across platforms to improve each part of your strategy, you’ll spend less money chasing numbers and more money earning conversions.

Marry Your Brand Across Channels

Between the different headlines you choose, the difference in tone from blog post to sponsored ads, and even visual changes between link and landing pages, you’d be surprised at how quickly branding inconsistencies can sneak up on you.

Why is this important when merging PPC and social media? Because you don’t want to look like two companies.

Brand consistency isn’t just about being memorable. It’s about building trust with your potential customers.

OpenTable defines its brand extremely well, and shows it off on its own domain. The site covers every last detail—the story of how the company came to be, what the logo should look like, the tone of its content, and what partners should use when they’re talking about OpenTable.

Combine PPC with social media OpenTable  

How can you take a cue from OpenTable and improve your consistency across PPC and social media?

Visuals. If your landing page looks different than your social media profile, people will notice. It’s likely to confuse them, causing them to wonder if they’ve come to the right place. This can have a negative impact on conversions.

Tone. You don’t need to duplicate headlines or exact key phrases in order to be on brand. But try to pick a tone. Are you warm and professional? Quirky? Efficient? Minimalist? What’s your style?

Messaging. What’s the “point” of your brand—the unique value proposition you have on offer? If you can’t settle on that first, you might need to solve it before you start combining your PPC efforts with social media.

Put it together and you have more than just a campaign—you’ll have a brand. One brand.

Use PPC to Grow on Social Media

All of this sounds well and good—but what if you don’t have the social media presence to leverage your followers? In other words, what if one medium lags behind the others?

You can start by sending sponsored PPC clicks to your social media pages. American Airlines has no qualms about asking its potential customers to follow them on Snapchat and Instagram, and neither should you.

 Combine PPC with social media American Airlines Qantas tweet

As long as you plan on offering valuable insights and interesting content on social media, you’ll find plenty of happy followers.

It’s also important to embrace trends. You can even buy your way into a trend by using PPC, which in turn drives traffic to your social media headlines talking about that very same trend. You’d be surprised how many followers you can pick up because of one viral story in the news, or one item trending on Twitter.

Use PPC to Drive Social Shares

Content is deemed valuable when it solves an existing question, need, or desire that your audience already has. With the right content, you can drive more social shares and even spark a viral post simply by getting enough people to actually engage from the beginning.

Remember this WordStream post on targeting early-stage buyers in PPC? Using the tool Answer the Public, we demonstrated how you can find the trends and topics to target with both your content’s direction and the key phrases you aim for in your sponsored search efforts. Think about what people are searching for first, then craft amazing content that answers their same question.

 Combine PPC with social media Answer the Public screenshot

Answer the Public is a powerful tool that organizes keywords
into relevant questions asked by real searchers

You also have to stay “share-able.” Don’t expect your audience to do all of the work when it comes to making your content go viral. Use compelling social sharing buttons, pick the style that complements your site layout, and make sure that they’re not just “there.” Make them stand out. Make them beg for a click—without ever getting in the way of your branding or the functionality of the site itself.

Combine PPC with social media blog post social share count

The key to remember: none of these tactics would work without quality content. Lean towards telling stories and answering the day’s trends, not simply writing about whatever comes to mind. If your content solves a specific problem people are having, it’s important to not only present that solution well, but to promote that solution effectively.

Use PPC and Social Media for Remarketing Efforts

Imagine this: a user sees you on Facebook, then keeps browsing. You no longer have a cold sale to make when it comes to clicking on your sponsored search or your social media posts. There’s some brand awareness there–your prospect already has some exposure to your brand.

You can further build on this brand familiarity by driving prospects who found you via PPC to your social media accounts. This gets to the heart of this strategy: no marketing medium should exist in a vacuum.

 Combine PPC with social media remarketing concept diagram

Remarketing is a familiar phrase to PPC experts. But let’s think about some ways in which you can use remarketing to combine both PPC and social media:

Display PPC ads to past visitors and direct them to social media. Sound counterintuitive? Consider the earlier example of Newscred finding the most success on a specific social medium. Wouldn’t you like to nudge your previous visitors in the right direction?

Email list remarketing gives you the option of targeting PPC ads specifically at people you already know. This not only encourages repeat business, but can help you tailor your offerings along with your ad campaigns.

Use remarketing information to benefit both PPC and social media. What gets people to come back? For example, if your analytics show an abandoned cart but frequent visits to your social media accounts, you can used sponsored advertising to remind people to hop back on over to your shop while they browse Facebook.

Simply put, “remarketing” means that you create a synergy among your advertising efforts across channels. And with PPC and social media influence combined, you can create new and powerful ways to target warm leads.

Take Advantage of the Synergy Effect

Synergy isn’t just a corporate buzzword. It’s a simple description of what happens when two different strategies don’t just add success, but multiply it.

When it comes to online marketing, you’re selling yourself short if you silo PPC, social media, content marketing, and email marketing. Instead, think strategically about how you can combine your efforts on multiple channels to reach your audience where they are.

About the Author

Paul Lentz is the SVP of Publisher & Business Operations at ShareThis, responsible for all aspects of growing and sustaining Publisher Network. When not doing what he can to support the publishers, he’s taking a break from digital devices and experiencing nature through skiing, hiking, and running.